Religions and Spirituality

Westfield Church Lends a Hand in Texas

September 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ — The First Congregational Church of Westfield (FCC) recently welcomed home the largest contingent yet from its annual mission trip, a week of volunteerism and fellowship that has become an important summer tradition for the congregation. 

The FCC contingent of 32 youth and seven adults was led by Rev. Dr. Mark Boyea, FCC senior minister; Rev. Joy Mounts, associate minister; and Joe Regan, assistant music director.  

Middle and senior high students, friends, clergy members and chaperones traveled to San Antonio, Texas, in July to work with Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR), a faith-based organization that emphasizes local immersion while working with inner-city communities. 

Sign Up for E-News

Under the guidance of DOOR representatives from the Mennonite Church of San Antonio, FCC volunteers took public transportation to work sites throughout the city, including programs serving disabled children and adults, a homeless shelter and soup kitchen, the San Antonio food bank and a local Habitat for Humanity site. Students from the church also learned about the local Latino community through lectures and activities arranged by DOOR and toured the Alamo, RiverWalk and other local sites.   

 “This is our sixth Youth Fellowship Summer Mission Trip,” said Mounts. “Each year the youth and adults who participate come away enriched by the experience in so many ways—not only feeling that we have helped others but by what we have learned about ourselves, our faith and what we can accomplish in a short time.”

Ben Evans, a senior at Scotch Plain-Fanwood High School, participated in the trip.

“This year's mission trip was truly an experience like no other,” said Evans. “I had an amazing experience working with adults with developmental disabilities, as well as people who were homeless and working on houses at a Habitat for Humanity build site. As always, it was not only a great learning experience, but also a great ‘doing’ experience, because we could walk away feeling that not only had we made a positive impact on communities but also that those communities had had a positive impact on us.”

Previous mission trips by FCC included sites in New Orleans, Ohio, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Wyoming. Fundraisers held throughout the year, including a tag sale, pancake breakfast, spaghetti supper and talent show, help underwrite the cost of travel.

“The congregation is a huge supporter of the summer mission trip,” said Mounts. “Outreach is important to our congregation. Not only does the congregation help with the trip fundraisers throughout the year but also supports the participants with prayer, enthusiasm and cheering us on. We couldn't do it without them!”

Chaperones included Cindy Boyea, Marion Gordon, Cynthia LaPera, and Terry Van Liew. Student representatives included Brandon Gloeggler of Clark; Emily Norwine and Courtney Van Liew of Cranford; Ben Evans, Ian and Lia Gordon, Samantha Gorman, Chelsea Mills and Dylan Voltz of Fanwood; and Mike Bonnell, Kelsey Boyea, Daniel Federico, Ani Hsu Obrock, Isaac and Taylor Scott, and Kate Traina of Scotch Plains. Westfield residents included Grace and Nora Brindle, Charlotte and Ceci Fountain Jardim, Samantha Gargiulo, Jaime Gunchar, Alison Jaruzelski; Chandler, Jordan, Logan and Kendall Robertson, Hope Rothenberg, Jonathan Saminski and Chris Zdenek. Joe Diez of Highland Park and Elizabeth Snyder Mounts of Myrtle Beach rounded out the group.

First Congregational Church, a member of the United Church of Christ, is located at 125 Elmer Street in Westfield. For additional information on youth fellowship and outreach opportunities,  call  908-233-2494 or visit fccofwestfield.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Condominiums Will Replace Lawnmower Shop in Clark

December 2, 2016

CLARK, NJ – A seven-unit condominium building will soon stand on the site of the Clark Power Equipment property at 1132 Westfield Ave.  The Clark planning board voted unanimously in favor of an application presented by Vincenzo Associates at its meeting Thursday night.

Site engineer Edward Dec said the single seven-unit structure is a better use of the lot’s size and shape ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, December 4, 1:30 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Gingerbread Sunday

Other

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI with Child in Vehicle, Home Burglary Reported

November 30, 2016

November 25, 2016 2:05 p.m.

Officers Domanoski and Penn arrested Kenneth T. Oakes, age 39, of Scotch Plains, NJ, for possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia subsequent to a motor vehicle stop. Mr. Oakes was transported to WPD, processed and released with a summons.

November 26, 2016

Officer Domanoski and Ferry arrested Brenda Titus, age 41, of Newark, ...

Tips for Managing Stress During the Holidays

December 3, 2016

Crisis hotline listeners are available to help with problems big and small this holiday season

Well, you made it through Thanksgiving – and the election. Now it's time to relax and enjoy the holidays – the decorations, the music, the good will. Right? Well, maybe not.

If you are like many people, you already are feeling stressed over the holidays – impending family ...

Female Dog Found in Roselle

This female dog was found at 315 East 1st Ave. in Roselle.  She is currently at the Roselle Police Headquarters. If this is your pet or you know the owner call the Roselle Police at 908-245- 2000. 

Register for Westfield Area YMCA's Programs and Get More Than Exercise This Winter

The Westfield Area YMCA’s Winter program registration begins at 6:00 pm on Thursday, December 8th for Gold and Silver members and at 7:30 am, Monday, December 12th for Program and Non-Members.  The Winter Session runs from January 2nd-February 25th.

New classes for adults this winter include: Cardio Strength Blast, Cardio Strength High Intensity ...

Holy Trinity School Spotlight - Kindergarten

At Holy Trinity School, Kindergarten is cool!  In Kindergarten, students learn the fundamental skills necessary to thrive in a school environment. The Holy Trinity Kindergarten is a full-day, faith-based program focused on reading readiness, language development, math, and science concepts.   Students also take part in several special classes each week that include music, library, ...

GWACC (Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce) Invites the Chamber and Community Members to Enjoy a Trip to Pompeii & the Amalfi Coast

GWACC has announced today that it will be visiting irresistible Southern Italy & Amalfi Coast, departing Oct. 11, 2017 and is inviting chamber members, and family and friends of chamber members to join them on this once in a lifetime experience.

Rich in culture and stunning scenery, irresistible Southern Italy is the setting for this breathtaking journey. Enjoy an eight day ...

My Epic Beauty Fails

One day as I was looking around a high-end cosmetics store for a new lipstick, a “beauty expert” approached me and said that I was so stunning I should forget the lipstick, and get a lip plumper instead. At first I wondered why I needed a lip plumper if I was already so stunning. But then I thought, “Now here is someone wearing a badge that says, ‘beauty expert,’ so ...

Tamaques Elementary Launches New 'Makerspace' Initiative

With the objective of fostering students' critical thinking, imagination and creativity, Westfield Public School librarian Christine Pitarresi has spearheaded a new program at Tamaques Elementary, called "Makerspace." Observing current trends and needs for growing minds, Ms. Pitarresi enthusiastically noted, "We used to be a society of makers, now we are ...

Lindabury Bolsters its Commercial Real Estate and Finance Practices

Lindabury is pleased to announce the addition of attorney Amanda M. Curley to its Business and Commercial Real Estate practices. Amanda will focus her practice on commercial real estate financing and related transactions.  Amanda has experience advising commercial real estate owners and developers on transactions, redevelopment law and land use matters.  She also is well versed in New ...

Five Shot at Bloomfield Sports Bar

December 3, 2016

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Five people were injured during a shooting that occurred approximately 11:30 p.m. Friday at Bloomfield’s Sports in the City Food & Lounge on the corner of First Avenue and 13th Street.

According to Bloomfield Police Director Sam DeMaio, the police department is still in the very early stages of analyzing the crime scene. “Based on ballistic evidence there ...